Skip to main content

It's time game streaming is built with slow internet connections in mind

Video game streaming should be as widely available and consistent as movie streaming — but it isn't.

Cloud gaming is the future and will replace consoles. At least that's what services like Google Stadia want us to believe. Honestly, the idea of getting top-tier games without the need to purchase an expensive piece of hardware that can break and needs to be upgraded every few years sounds great. However, game streaming services don't matter if gigabit internet is required to play them.

Of course, Stadia isn't the only option. There's also Amazon's Luna, NVIDIA GeForce Now, and Xbox's xCloud, but the commonality of these services is the desire to give people the ability to play console-quality games without the need to own a console. Game streaming also opens up the ability to play games on a variety of devices. Whether that's on a phone or an excellent Chromebok, you aren't tethered to your living room anymore.

I used to love playing video games, and I still do. I just don't have the time I used to for them anymore. I have a busy family with two young boys that are very active and involved in all sorts of things. So when I see all of the awesome games on PS5, I want to play them, but I can't justify purchasing a console when I'll barely use it. But when I see that many of these games are also showing up on streaming services, I get excited. hen I remember I live in rural Kansas, and I can't use those services.

Game options are key to services like Stadia succeeding, but games don't matter if gigabit internet is necessary.

I use Starlink as my internet provider, and it dramatically improved my connectivity issues. For example, I can watch 4K HDR movies through Netflix and Disney+ — but I can't stream games. Yes, streaming video is different from gaming since a video game preload, buffers data before showing it on the screen, whereas a video game has to be real-time. However, according to the network testing tool that Stadia uses, my internet should be able to stream video games, but it's not even close.

When I say I can't play games, I mean that the games barely load, let alone all of the latency issues. I have the streaming settings set to as low as possible, and still no dice. This issue isn't exclusive to Stadia. I have tried Luna and Xbox xCloud with the same results. I know that Starlink isn't the best for testing gaming, but I have tried testing each service at various times when I have a clear blue sky and 100+mbps, with the same result — it doesn't work.

Of all of the services, though, xCloud had the closest chance of working. I was able to load and kind of play Doom Eternal. The graphics were decent, but the controller response was unbearable.

Like many other technologies, game streaming is focused on the have's, with the have-not's being an afterthought — if they're thought of at all. Even when the base requirement for internet speeds is met for these services, the games are still unplayable. I've tried playing the games on a cellular connection in the 30-40mbps range; Luna still didn't play well — and its base requirement is 10mbps.

Instead of Stadia, Luna, and xCloud fighting each other to have exclusivities over certain games or gaming studios, these services need to work on optimizations to work on slower internet connections. Many companies focus on more densely populated areas regarding connectivity, and I understand why — more people means more money to be made. But, living in rural areas shouldn't mean that I have to miss out on streaming options.

Even though options like Starlink and T-Mobile Home Internet are trying to close that gap, those who do have high-speed internet (25mbps) streaming video games just isn't a reality. However many excellent Stadia games there are and will be — neither Stadia nor the other game streaming options will matter until the service works at the slower speeds that they're advertised to.

It's been a couple of years since I've had the time to sit down and play any games, online or otherwise, but when I did play Fortnite, it generally played just fine. Of course, that was when I had a much less reliable and speedy connection. While I wouldn't have trusted my internet to any real competitive gaming sessions, but it typically did well enough that I could play a few rounds of a game and even win a time or two.

The further the connection to the data host site, the faster your connection, and ultimately your ping rate, needs to be for online gaming.

I recently spoke with a Google spokesperson about my issues when playing games via Stadia. I shared some of my connection tests and a few of the times I attempted to play a game. After going over the data and discussing options for resolving the problems, the issue boiled down to logistics.

"Ultimately, despite the major infrastructure investments we've made to ensure that data centers are close to as many users as possible, Stadia is continuing to improve its mapping users to the closest data centers, which may be related to the issues you're seeing from home."

I understand that there is a bit of a chicken and egg situation involved with planning out game streaming services. Do you just blanket the world with data centers that host your service's servers before you have the gamers, or do you have to get proof of acceptance of your service before you invest in those data centers?

The problem is difficult, but it will be hard to get users with less than ideal internet connections to join in on the video game streaming concept when the infrastructure isn't there. Not only missing from a connectivity standpoint but also the proximity of a data center. So until the issue of broadband that is acceptable enough for video game streaming is solved or a company like Google is willing to invest in more Stadia data centers, folks like me will have to watch others play from afar.

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

Google Pay on Wear OS expands again, is now available in 37 countries

More people will be able to use their Wear OS watch for payments. Update, Sept 8 (5:30 p.m. ET) : Google Pay support expands to more countries. What you need to know Google Pay is getting expanded support in more countries. 16 additional countries will support contactless payments on the Galaxy Watch 4. The expanded support will also come to older Wear OS smartwatches "in the coming weeks." With the launch of the Galaxy Watch 4 , Google has highlighted some of the new app experiences that will come with the new Wear OS 3 update. Google Pay is among the apps that are getting a redesign based on Material You, but Google also announced that it's expanding support for more countries. As it stands, Google Pay only supports a handful of countries for contactless payments on Wear OS. Google is now adding 16 additional countries to the list, which include the following: Belgium Brazil Chile Croatia Czech Republic Denmark Finland Hong Kong Ireland New Zeal

How to watch England vs India: Live stream Fourth Test cricket online

Having bounced back from defeat with an impressive win in the third Test at Headingley, Joe Root's men will be hoping they can now forge an advantage as the series moves to London - watch every ball of this fourth Test with our England vs India live stream guide below. England managed to dismiss India for just 78 on Day 1 in a scintillating bowling display, but there was even better to come from the hosts' top-order batting, with all of the top three managing to notch up half-centuries in their first innings. Skipper Root meanwhile continued his extraordinary 2021 form, clocking up yet another three-figure score. With a buoyant home side now hoping to carry on where they left off, India captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri must unravel how their attack was so routinely undone with the new ball last time out. Kohli himself will also need to do more leading from the front, with the normally reliably prolific batsman having scored no more than 55 during any inni

How to watch the Djokovic vs Medvedev: Live stream the US Open 2021 final o

History beckons for Novak Djokovic as the Serbian legend goes in search of two significant tennis records in this afternoon's grand finale at Flushing Meadows. Read on to find out how to get a 2021 US Open live stream and watch Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev online no matter where you are in the world. A win here for the 34-year old would see him overtake eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles won, with all three veterans currently tied at 20 wins a piece. Victory in New York this afternoon would also see Djokovic complete the first male calendar slam in the Open Era. Aiming to make a piece of history of his own but stopping Djokovic is Russian star Daniil Medvedev who will be looking to finally claim his first slam title. The 25-year-old world no.2 has been in some of the best form of his career in the Big Apple having given up just a single set on his way to today's final. The match marks Medvedev's second major showdown

How to watch the Raducanu vs Fernandez: Live stream the US Open 2021 final

It's a battle of the teens at Flushing Meadows this evening as two youngsters who have stunned the tennis world go head-to-head - read on to find out how to get a 2021 US Open live stream and watch Emma Raducanu vs Leylah Fernandez online no matter where you are in the world. The last time the final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium was contested by two players yet to reach their 20s was when Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis to take the title back in 1999 in a match that signalled a new era for the women's game. While both players in that match were something of a known quantity - Hingis was already world no.1 - both of today's finalists' trailblazing journeys to today's clash has come as something of a bolt out of the blue. Britain's Emma Raducanu had to go through the qualifying stage on her incredible route to this showdown, yet has yet to lose a set so far in the tournament. The 18-year-old now stands on the brink of becoming the first British woman